Jaguar dropped the XK line of sports cars from its model range in 2014 claiming that they would be back in a modern avatar. Well, the feline supercar is indeed coming back, sharper and faster than before.
Jaguar has recently been earning the majority of its sales from its F-Pace and E-Pace crossovers. This makes it clear for the British firm that crossovers are today’s hot property in the automotive world, seeing as the F-Pace accounted for almost 40% of Jaguars sold in 2017. However, the company is still committed to building sports cars, said Hanno Kirner, head of product strategy at Jaguar-Land Rover.
â€śThe F-Type has been a huge success,â€ť Kirner said. â€śWe love sports cars â€“ and I use the plural quite deliberately. Whether that is delivered by a body variant or something else remains to be seen, but for now letâ€™s just say that the body type is very important for us.â€ť The statement also sits well with Ian Callum, head of design at Jaguar. Callum is the man who penned the timelessly beautiful F-Type and more recently the F-Pace. It is Callum’s personal desire to develop a family of sports cars. He had hinted as much through an interview with Autocar saying he wanted an F-Type and a 2+2, adding that work was already underway for the latter. “Thereâ€™s nothing approved, but we instigate in design.â€ť
Kirner’s comments suggest that the next generation of Jaguar sports cars will be dependent on the company’s future platform strategy. The current F-Type sits on heavily modified XK underpinnings which will be replaced in favor of a more modern platform come 2019. The modern platform could make way for a new 2+2 sports car through its modular and flexible architecture.
â€śI love the idea of a flexible architecture that can give us anything,â€ť said Kirner. He also added that Jaguar is exploring the possibility of expanding the new-generation platform’s modular approach to include the ability to accommodate various powertrains including hybrids and electric motors. The next-generation F-Type and XK could initially come with Jaguar’s Ingenium family of engines, notably the 2.0-liter four-pot motor that pushes 296hp and the bigger inline-six in various power outputs.
We are talking about Jaguar sports cars here, but SVR hasn’t made an appearance anywhere yet. That will change when Jaguar will start working on a souped-up hotter version of the XK when it comes out. The future of the boisterous supercharged V8 is bleak, but if it finds its way under the new XK’s hood, we can safely expect another ferocious big cat to pounce out of Whitley’s doors. The new generation Jaguar XK will see the light of day no earlier than 2021.
Featured Image Credit: Autocar UK